Sunday, April 13, 2014

Complete Northwest Magazine and Lost Bookmarks!

I picked up a beautiful stack of great pulp magazines in Black River Falls WI. at an antique mall a few years back looking for a china cabinet.  We got the cabinet on E-bay later in the year, but the guy had a nice booth of old magazines, a lot of Fishing and Hunting mags, but a nice stack of pulps, which I picked up a foot tall stack of including some magazine sized issues of Blue Book, including the fabled Ian Flemming James Bond issue, about which later.  The rest being some nice westerns and the issue below, which I wanted to read first.

So, not the best of condition, the dreaded  athletic tape always a drag to get off, and I guess it will remain there forever, no back cover but complete and it was cheap too.  Its from March 1938 a Columbia Pub.  The cover is by an unknown artist, but I find it to be very nicely done, the painterly landscape at the bottom is very effective, OK, and the painting does not have anything to do with any of the stories as far as I can tell.  Well the Mountie does have a lanyard attached to his gun that the Cambell story refers to and it does have a woman featured in the tale, most the stories are set in the dead of winter so no use for a canoe. 

The first story up is Law of the Mounted by Cliff Cambell is a excellent tale of just 6 characters who live and work above Arctic Circle, a very cruel place to be sure.  I like the way the story unravels itself and how the people in it come together and then dissolve away again.  Very nice flow and feel for them and he really does a wonderful job of describing the Circle and its sense of emptiness.  The story is a northern mystery and everyone seems to have a secret.  It was hard to put down, very  pulply as you would expect, but well written. I could not find out much about Campbell, the Fictionmags site does not list but a few stories. He is listed on the Statement of ownership as the Editor, but above the table on contents it lists Michael Ivan.  So don't know.

Next up is Bandits Rule The Snow Frontier by Brain Loomis a pulp writer of westerns and northerns.  This is a more modern tale of the Mounties involving cars vs horses.  He tells a nice believable story of how autos might help.  I like the fact that woman play a role in both these stories and are very much in the hunt to solve the problems involved. 

The short stories here one by the hugely prolific Samual Taylor who wrote a vast amount of pulp fiction his story Gold Eating Wolves was OK, as was C V Tench's story Quits.  The better of the shorts is by Thomas Barclay Thompson its called Trail Breed a great dog story about how naturally the dog gets him out a fix.  Am a sucker for dog stories.  Thompson did not seem to publish much fiction, very little listed.  Silver Fox is the final short here is of a native and (again) his wonderful dog.  The k9 saves his life more than once.  Everyone wants the dog, but he wants to give him to someone deserving of him. As for the silver fox, you'll have to read it yourself! 

The Statement of Ownership I thought was interesting, it lists L. Miesel ( Louis K Miesel's dad maybe?  The latter is a dealer in Photo-real art and I knew him from his pin-up originals he owned), Dave Gross and Louis H. Silbertket ( of Archie Comics, which he started in 1941 with John Goldwater).  And, as mentioned early Campbell as ed and managing ed. 

A very decent mag a bottom of the barrel publisher, but I thought plenty good for 15 cents in the day! 

Lastly, to add to my list of Lost Book marks and you can see my old ones by checking out my older blogs on the subject. 

This one is kinda cool, it a ticket for Strum, WI's Steam Engine days, the town is about  30 miles from where I got the pulps in Black River Falls, WI.  I see a few things on the net about this fair, its at least been going on since 1964, but may go way back, under a different name.  Pretty cool steam tractor event.  This ticket may have been from around the days when the purchaser picked up the pulp, back in the thirties.  I think its pretty neat, looks as if he only got though the first story by Campbell where I found it! 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A pile of Science Fiction reading...

Here's some items I picked up and blogged about a few years back, and finally got around to reading some of. 

I picked up the Venture mags along with some Imagination mags at a antique mall in Mid-Ohio, a very short run on this mag 16 issues, the last 2 published in 1969 and 1970.  I have the May 1957, Sept and Nov., plus the Jan. 1958 issue, nice covers. 

The paperbacks, I picked up at a Antique mall in WI,  a big box full for $17 cheap at half the price. 

The Star Fox by Anderson was first published in The Mag. of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Feb.thru June 1965.  The book was cobbled together from the short stories in the FSF.  I had a great time reading it and others must have liked it also as it was nominated for a SF award, but wasn't a winner in '65.  The alien character ( Cynbe) is pretty cool and the kids of the story pick up its hair style, dances, and cloths, just like we did with the Beatles.  Or, at least as I did, pegged pants and Beatle boots, still remember them.  Ya gotta love fads!  The Tech is pretty spot-on I thought, he had cell phone, a desk Computer ( in the days of those giant IBM jobs I used to work at in the 70's), TV info-trive and other cool stuff.  Over all the tale is not unlike America's fight with England over independence.  Very good. 

As for the Dick book Galactic Pot-Healer, its my first read by him, I wanted to read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, but never got to get a copy.  Its one of my favorite movies, Blade Runner that is.  In any case its  a very well thought out tale unlike any other I have read.  The "Book" in the tale is very smart phone or tablet like, very cool as it turns out.  The work they do as a group is a beautiful thing indeed.  Dick must have like pottery very much!  Everyone should ( and most of you guys probably have) read this one. 

The May 1957 of Venture has a nice cover by Emsh about the first tale by James Gunn Space Is A Lonely Place.  Its the last of a series of tales about what his idea of what space travel might be like.  I think he did a very good job of visualizing space from what appears to be the space station ( like ours out there now) in a family oriented situation.  Another interesting mention is the stove they have a "shortwave" device, very cool, almost a microwave, hey?

 The next story The Corpse In Your Bed Is Me, by Walter M. Miller and Lincoln Boon.  I generally like Miller's stuff, but don't like SF stories about Comedians.  OK, it takes place in 2045 and there is a Martian in it, but not very good SF.

Night Sky Of Venus by Erik Fennel is my kind of tale; an excellent description of what Venus might be like.  And, Mike the main character who comes of age there with the planet and native people.  I very much like Fennel's  Storytelling style.  He had some tales in two my favorite pulps, Planet Stories and Blue Book. 

Cold Victory by Paul Anderson has a great title and seems to be another political SF tale, the other is Star Fox a decade later.  This tale is about 2 brothers who end up at odds with each other and how the story twists to fit it.  Interestingly told, but not my glass of beer!

Birds of Prey by Marion Zimmer Bradley is what I thought to be a superior bit of fantasy story telling.  The point of view of a woman telling a story though a man is pretty nice.  She is a very descriptive writer.  I will read more by her!  And, I have a bunch in the above mentioned box of books. 

Finally by Theodore Sturgeon Affair With a Green Monkey, not my kind of tale, its rather strange story of a guy who knows whats wrong with this, what he thinks is a gay fellow, but is really not, as his wife finds out!  But, not like you would imagine.  

Seems like a good SF magazine, but uneven, a good bunch of writers.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Great book reading

Alright the word is out, I do not read just pulps, Oh the horror!  Yeah, yeah, I get suckered into reading other stuff.  I mean take a look at these 4 I just finished, wonderful reads and some pulp tie-ins too!

I really had a good time reading this group of hardbacks, the two by Lawrence Block, I've had for a long time, especially the ginmill book which I hate to say it, have had since the time it came out 1986.  Great intentions and all.  The other book by him Small Town about New York is really awesome, quite the exotic writer, I must say!  Well, all the books have a bit or a lot of that.  The Khoury book on the Templar's, had some pretty kinky things going on as well!  OK, I live a sheltered like in the back of a truck for crying out loud and I read pulps with no sex, just romance...Alright, maybe, just maybe the Spicy line of pulps, Spicy Adventure, Detective and others had some what you might have called lurid behavior at best, but not the stuff that say the Block book had, he started life as a erotic novelist, well you get paid by the word, so works for me. 

All of the novels have something I like,  the Templar one was especially good ( it's part 2 but still a good read), I love a little historical fiction, mixed with the FBI and well, the sex wasn't too bad either.  The odd part, and it may just be me is that both Khoury and Patterson used the word beat every time something came up that you could have used say heartbeat or some such, never used a different work, "she waited for just one beat..."  not a second or a min. just a beat!  I don't know,  Someone writing under another name, or is it a catch word I know nothing about?  As for the Sacred Ginmill, excellent Matt Scudder detective story, not much action, a lot of drinking and a great ending, really twisted way of getting even. The Patterson book with his detective Michael Bennett is trying to solve a murder while on a cops vacation with his 10 kids and his dad.  Very cool and sick at times crimes the purp pulls off.

I recommend all of them, I don't like giving away the stories or the endings, so not much of a reviewer, but by far to me and the last book I wanted and did read was Small town, is the best of the lot and recommend the most, awesome detective novel and a great romance too!

Where have I been...

Now, I ask you what is wrong with this picture?!  I mean check out this guy in front of me, I mean really, what the hell is HE thinking?  This is about a month ago at where I-55 and I-40 meet in Memphis, TN.  I was there for about 5 hours, moving about a mile an hour, really in the ballpark of the Atlanta, GA. affair where everyone abandoned their cars and walked!  Oh, and tell me America's needs do not travel by truck, look at all of them.  And, here's a shot of the other side of the road!

So, your thinking what does one do in a thing like this, well the first thing was try and get around it, routing in a big rig is hard to change, so I was told to stay on the interstate, not a good concept!  But, a i-Pod helps lots, as does a CB radio, but mostly, I'm the kind of guy who reads, especially when you have the air brakes pulled and your not moving, of course!  This then is what I reviewed, a short read in any case, but a nice mag I picked up at a antique store about a mile from my terminal in WI.

It was a in a stack of Hunting and Fishing mags and a pretty good size pile of Dime Novels  all were Tip Tops,  all by Street and Smith publishers.  So, every last one of those Tip Tops was a sports, hunting, fishing, story, not high on my list.  But, in the middle is this Top Notch Vol. 1 Number 1, March 1st 1910 and hell, its got a western cover!  I would have bought the thing if it had a fishing cover, hard to find one of these!  Cover is uncredited, and is familiar for some reason, nice comic book like drawing.  It illustrates the Albert W. Tolman story In The Coulee.  Here's the table of contents.

Really the mag was intended for it would seem about say 12 to 15 years old, back in the day.  The first story is Bob Halliday, Freshman by Edwin Larkmore, who did all his magazine fiction for Top Notch to about 1910.  Its a story that was OK, Bob is a "top notch" athlete at Princeton who take off in the middle of the season to visit the Athletic Club in New Orleans and get involved in a car chase of over 40 MPH, pretty exciting stuff.  Don't know how they could have afforded the train ride, let alone renting a car in 1910!  Its a serial and Bob meets the sister of the guy who gets hit my the other automoble-ist, and she's a mysterious one.  The guy they chase is of course involved in all this.  Not a favorite.

Second story by Gilbert Patten The Deadwood Trail is much better a western set in the Black Hills of the Dakota's.  This one is much better, a kid sets out to meet his uncle and go to his gold claim, misses him and chances after him.  He at least has a sensible explanation of why they would send so young a kid from the east out there by himself!  He meets a girl and her brother and you have an idea where it goes from there!
William George Patten is his real name and his other writing name is Burt L Standish, who as it turns out is the Editor for the mag. 

Best Story for me in the issue is In The Coulee by Albert W. Tolman a short story with a tough steer!  He wrote quite a bunch of fiction from 1910 to about 1944, which being that he was born in the 1860's was probably his last bit of wordage. 

There's a Julian St Dare Baseball story, I'm not big on, and a Robert Russell one on football, OK, but not my style. 

So, very interesting reads for back in the Pre-Pulp days of Top Notch, by October of this same year, it had switched from its 8x10 32 page 5 cent (go figure when they call them Dime novels) mag to the better known 7x10 128 page pulp mag.  With a much more diverse set of stories and more to my liking.  Oh, and I was looking at the Fiction Mags site ( you can Google it and see) where most of the info I found  was and low and behold there's my copy of the mag, tape and all.  Pretty cool, I found the issue awhile back and posted on the Pulpmags list page about it, and was placed it on the opening page.